Forging a paperless trail

Sonitrol uses platform for technician mobilization
Friday, April 1, 2005

BERWYN, Pa. - Finding a new way to bypass the paper trail, electronic security provider Sonitrol implemented a mobile platform to mobilize its installation and field service teams in the beginning of March.

The technology, developed by Adesso Systems called the Adesso Instant Mobility Platform, enables the company to manage all aspects of the customer relationship from sales calls to installation and service appointments.

The new system replaces a paper-based process that Sonitrol relied on for a number of years. The mobile program helps the company to monitor the activities of contracts and off-site staff more efficiently.

“Basically, we were looking for a way to streamline our service process,” said Alex Gellman, chief operating officer and senior vice president at Sonitrol. “We worked with Adesso to develop a customized application for what we do.”

John Ferreira, client service consultant with Adesso who worked on the Sonitrol’s implementation, said the old way of doing things was not beneficial for Sonitrol or the end user.

“There is a significant loss of revenue and information with the old method,” he said. “It was a lengthy process that was error prone.”

The process before included repeated trips to an office and had the possibility of paper-based service orders getting lost or information misconstrued. The mobile platform allows a service technician to gather relevant information from an off-site location without repeated trips to an office.

Roughly 100 of Sonitrol’s service technicians carry the devices, which are the size of a Blackberry device and includes data on customers as well as a contract’s service history.

“Our technicians then have more information at their fingerprints to work with customers on addressing a problem,” Gellman said.

The device can link to the company’s operating center in Fort Worth, Texas to update information regularly, Gellman mentioned. But even with the ease of data transmission and the paperless trail, he said the drive behind implementing a product like this was to service the customers more efficiently.

“It gives our service technicians a better solution for the customer,” Gellman said. “Technicians know more about the customer, and a more informed technician is a better technician.”

Chris Hawver, senior vice president sales and chief marketing officer with Adesso, said he knew that the product would be able to do more for Sonitrol than improve client relations.

“We knew instantly that they need to automate their processes,” Ferreira said. “Automation was the way they were going to increase their revenue and decrease their costs.”

Sonitrol worked with Adesso, a company that launched in 2002 and has 47 offices across the country, beginning in fall 2004. Gellman said people working out in the field were the ones who assisted in designing the product, which Hawver said needed to be only 15 percent customized for the alarm company.

For now, the technology is only being used in markets where Sonitrol owns branches, not the company’s numerous franchise locations.